The poll by left leaning Public Policy Polling shows Dalton needs to do better with independent voters and women in their 30s and 40s. Dalton trails McCrory by 30 points with independent voters. Sixteen percent, however, are undecided. That's good news for Dalton and why he needs to focus on that group because he can make up ground there.
Another group where Dalton is behind, accord to the poll, is women. Among 18 to 29-year olds, Dalton has a good lead, but in the next group, 30 to 45-year olds, the numbers flip to McCrory. However, there are still a lot of undecided voters.
At this point, political observers said there aren't many paths to victory for Dalton, but the polls show a potential roadmap for how could make up ground over the next three weeks.
Strategists said Dalton has to follow that map at every turn to have a chance on Nov. 6.
"It's knocking on the doors. It's the personal telephone calls. It's robo-calls. It's people going through the list checking off. It is hand to hand combat right now, and the people they're focusing on are unaffiliated voters and then women voters 25-40," said Democratic strategist Brad Crone.
ABC11 asked Dalton how he intends to win over voters who still haven't made up their minds. His answer was the debates.
"People watching these debates will see that there is a true difference between these two candidates and the future of North Carolina depending on which one you elect," said Dalton.
Another problem for both candidates is that there are no coattails to ride on for either side. This is the first time a Republican candidate for governor has ever substantially outpolled the Republican candidate for president.